Daniel Harper continued to show eye-catching speed and consistency around the Nürburgring Nordschleife as he fought to a fourth place class finish with his BMW Junior Team stablemates in the latest round of the Nürburgring Endurance Series (29th September).
Four weeks’ on from recording a class podium finish in their first outing behind the wheel of a BMW M4 GT4, Harper and his team-mates Max Hesse and Neil Verhagen tackled their biggest challenge together to date with a six-hour race around the Nordschleife.
The Northern Irishman started the meeting with some crucial running around both the Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit and the full Nordschleife during free practice on Friday, with every lap offering a new opportunity to learn more about the infamous 16 mile circuit.
Verhagen started qualifying with new tyres and a rapid effort put their Walkenhorst Motorsport machine second fastest of the GT4 specification cars. Harper then took over and laid down some quick times of his own on older rubber to continue his impressive progress around the circuit.
The 19 year old was scheduled to tackle the middle two hours of the race, so watched on as Hesse took the start. An unfortunate early incident lost them some ground to their class rivals, with Harper eventually taking the reins with the car running in fifth position.
With a large gap to the podium contenders ahead, the BRDC SuperStar got his head down and produced a superb stint behind the wheel. Moving up to fourth around the halfway mark, he continued to push on and try to close the gap to those ahead.
Harper handed the car over to Verhagen in fourth and the American racer overcame some late issues to remain in position through to the chequered flag. That completed their final race ahead of their maiden outing in the Nürburgring 24 Hour race next month (24-27 September).
Daniel Harper: “This race week was all about preparing for the 24 Hour race. We spent practice trying out different tyre compounds which went really well, and the six hour race was a chance for us to each get another longer double stint under our belt.
“We’re racing drivers though so we still wanted to go out and enjoy a successful run. Neil put in a great lap when the tyres were new to put us in the mix at the front for the race, but sadly it didn’t start too well as at the first corner some contact caused some sensor damage.
“That caused to make an unscheduled pitstop which cost us a lot of time, so from then on it was about being as quick as possible. We were consistently one of the fastest cars in our class and I was pleased with the middle stint I produced.
“The end result ultimately wasn’t representative of our pace, but otherwise there were a lot of positives to take away. I feel a lot more confident in the car and now I’m fully focused on preparing for my first ever 24 hour race. It’s a big challenge that I’m really looking forward to.”
Source. Simon Paice Media/Photo. BMW